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It’s the end of January and so time for a new view for the End of Month View meme.  In a bid to make myself really focus on the front garden I have decided to air my dirty linen in public so to speak and have this as the focus for the meme this year.  Any one who has read this blog for some years will recall that the front garden was the focus of the EOMV meme in 2013 and you can see a round up of that year’s posts on the subject here.

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The two photos above should give you an idea of the layout of the front garden and yes the lawn, if we are audacious enough to call it a lawn, is looking awful.  It needs a good cut as the grass doesn’t seem to have stopped growing but the garden nearest the house can be in shade nearly all day meaning that it doesn’t dry out very well. In fact the whole lawn is full of moss which is a good indicator of how damp it can for most of the year.  We also think there is a spring which runs along under the beech hedge, although I suspect it is one of those springs which appears when there are high water tables. I think the above photo distorts the perspective and it seems that the border to the left of the lawn is quite wide whilst the border at the end of the lawn is quite narrow – in fact it is the opposite way round.

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This photo gives you a better indicator of how narrow the driveway border is and also demonstrates how unhealthy the lawn is.  This border has a bit of an orange theme going on with the libertias, a number of different crocosmia, geums (although more red than orange), tulip ballerina  and a Grevillia vicotriae which has orange flowers. There is an edging on the driveway side of oregano, a very yellow leaved one, and on the lawn side Alchemilla mollis. When I squared the lawn off, it was formerly oval, I went through a period of being obsessed with accentuating the shape of the lawn with edging of one plant.  I tried an approach of having a reduced plant pallet and going for impact but it just jarred with me.  I started breaking this repetitive planting up with the addition of a couple of stipa tennuissima and also the libertia but it needs something else so I shall be watching this year to try to decide what that elusive something might be – possibly some bigger foliage.

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Some might recall that I had a row of Deschampsia along the end of the lawn but if you read the post from the end of 2013, you will see that, I concluded that this was creating a screen like a barrier at the end of the lawn.  I have spent the last two years continuing to struggle with the front garden.  However back in the summer Kate from The Barn Garden visited and pointed out the obvious to me that I should really take the same approach with the front garden as I have with the rest of the garden and indulge my love of foliage and architectural plants.  It is so obvious it is ridiculous.  So I have re-jigged the planting back late in the summer adding various plants that were lurking in pots on the patio or needed moving from elsewhere.  In went a melianthus major, a phormium, euphoribia rigida and some bearded irises.  The various bergenias which had replaced the Deschampsia in a near row along the front were re-arranged into clumps.  As shrubby salvias seem to do well in this locations as does the cistus I also added a rosemary and sage.  I am really pleased with this new approach, it feels right, so this year I will be watching to see how it progresses and whether anything needs to be added.

Finally if you look at the top photos you will see there is a border running along the beech hedge and next door’s garage wall.  This is quite a narrow border and has another row of alchemilla mollis – when these flower on both sides of the lawn it looks great but far too regimented for me.  I have also added some aquilegia seedlings which had been hanging around on the patio for far too long.  However, I think this border could really benefit from the addition of some ferns to add some contrast and height.  That would of course give me another excuse to buy more ferns – not that I am obsessed with them at all!

So this is the view I shall be boring you with at the end of each month for the next year. Any one can join in with the meme and you can use it as you wish.  Some like to give a tour of their garden, some like to focus on one particular area – what ever works for you.  All I ask is that you add a link to your post in the comment box on my post and that you link in your post to this blog – that way we can all connect with each other and pop by for a visit.

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